Opinions on .357 Magnum revolvers for higher power loads

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Pat Riot, Jan 23, 2022.

  1. Show Me
    • Contributing Member

    Show Me Contributing Member

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    My 5 inch was sweet to shoot today before football
     
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  2. jeff-10

    jeff-10 Member

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    Get a 5" or 6" GP 100 and be done with it. Its the best value for the money and certainly a shooter.
     
  3. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    If you want a .357 revolver that can be loaded to almost .357 Max velocities then look for a Freedom Arms 353. They are built like a tank, and take whatever you load up.
     
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  4. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Thank you all for your input. Truly, thank you. :thumbup:

    My biggest concern was buying a 686, GP100 or a 586 and THEN getting that “By the way…” statement from the gun clerk, guy at the range, guy on a forum. You know what I mean, the “By the way, that’s a great gun but they can’t handle (whatever) ammo” or “By the way, after 500 rounds of heavy use you should have (whatever) checked to make sure it’s okay”.

    I hate “By the way” surprises. ;)

    So, I have decided that when I come across any of the guns I have listed, except for the Redhawk I plan to make a purchase.

    I already have several S&W revolvers and I have owned a few Ruger single actions but never a Ruger DA.
    So, I think it’s high time I had one, so the GP100 will be top of my list. Followed by the models 27, 686 and 586.

    Thank you
     
  5. borrowedtime69

    borrowedtime69 Member

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    Not to put shade on the good S&W revolvers but I would only have a Ruger .357 for shooting heavy loads in large quantities.
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If you are looking for a heavy frame .357 Magnum you left off the S&W 627. It's a stout N frame revolver that you a might like.
     
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  7. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    You want a 28-2. My S&W has > 25K rounds thru her, over 2K .357 hand loads ( read HOT). It’s tight as a bank vault, and prints 2.5 “ at 50 yards off sandbags. Hard to find, but for the money it is ideal.
     
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  8. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    Rugers customer service is the best. In case something goes wrong. Just something to think about.
     
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  9. CopperFouling

    CopperFouling Member

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    Of the models you have mentioned, I don't think any of them is a concern. They're all good revolvers.

    Personally, I like the 4" 686 better than the 6" (I have one, and my shooting buddy has the other) simply because the 4" balances better, but you do have a longer sight radius and slightly more velocity with the 6".
     
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  10. ECVMatt
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    ECVMatt Contributing Member

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    I would go with the GP100 in California. I have had one for about 30 years and it still runs great, lots of heavy loads through it in my younger day.

    I will add that one of my favorites for heavy .357's is the Model 27. I have two, both 5" inch guns (in homage to Skeeter) and they are just so smooth. Even with the heaviest of loads they are controllable and accurate. It is worth shopping around for in my opinion. I just had mine out a couple of weekends ago and it was just great fun.

    Here is a pic of the 27-2 and the 624. Both great guns!


    IMG_1251.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
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  11. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I did consider it. The prices are outrageous in CA. Perhaps one day when I leave here in a few months. Besides, I have actually never seen one in the wild.
     
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  12. ECVMatt
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    ECVMatt Contributing Member

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    I would be patient and wait until you leave CA. You will be amazed at what you can find at gun shows and local gun shops. My wife is from KS and we stop by local shops and auctions when were are back there. Lots of great deals that seem impossible to someone from CA.

    It could be a "Freedom" present to yourself. Just a thought....
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
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  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Yeah, prices are much better in states with less restrictions and who honor the 2nd Amendment. Like said above, you will be amazed!
     
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  14. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    Define "stout" or "heavy" loads. I adhere to the idea that accuracy trumps power and maximum loads are rarely accurate. Being rather behind the times, I would recommend a Security Six, plenty rugged, easy to disassemble and maintain.
     
  15. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    If you DO see a 627-0, BUY IT. It is about as stout as a .357 can be. It is in the middle of these three. Bottom one is a 657-2 .41 magnum CH.

    51030211291_96924b2481_o.jpg
     
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  16. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Before I started looking at other options I had 2 .357 Magnum revolvers on my “bucket list” or Grail Gun List. The model 27 and and the 327 TRR8. The model 27 is still on the list.




    And it’s an N frame. Nice! Thank you.
     
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  17. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I can vouch for the 686. It will eventually shoot loose, but it takes more than 10,000 full power rounds to do it. I'd be willing to bet the Redhawk will last even longer, but don't personally know anyone who has tried to prove it.

    I myself am keeping a sharp eye out for a 4" 27 "classic". As a fellow Southern Californian, I feel the OPs pain.
     
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  18. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I am leaving here this summer and going home to PA or northern WV. Where I end up depends on a property deal I am working on.

    Last March I was in Sportsman’s Warehouse in Corona and they had a 4” model 27 Classic in the display case. I should have bought it but I decided to wait a day so I could discuss it with my wife. It was gone the next day. :(
    That was the last one I have been able to find around here.
    I drowned my sorrows by purchasing another gun that I have wanted for a long time. A new model 25 Classic. It has been a fantastic firearm. No regrets. ;)
     
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  19. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The S&W L-frames (586 and 686) were developed to correct the ills of the Model 19. The grip frame is the same as the K-frame but the cylinder and frame of the gun is larger to better handle heavier 357 Magnum loads.

    The L-frames are similar size as the GP100 and Colt Python and they have have a reasonable life digesting full power 357 Magnum loads. But, any gun subjected to full power loads will eventually need some tune up and tender loving care periodically through its life. But I've never heard of a S&WW L-frame, Colt Python, or Ruger GP-100 having a life as short as 500 rounds.

    Of course, if one were to push the ammunition envelope, all bets are are off.

    S&W Model 27's and Model 28's are N-frames that are larger than the K and L frames and should hold up best in the S&W line but at a penalty of extra weight.

    I have a new production Python but only have less than a hundred full power rounds through it and the only GP-100's I have are 44 Special and 327 Fed mag. So, I really do not have an idea of long term life.

    I do have a S&W 586-0 and a Model 19. The 586 is still chugging along fine.

    I used the Model 19 for competition in bowling pins and IHMSA handgun silhouette competition for several years. Except for cracking the forcing cone on the Model 19, it has not required any other servicing. (S&W replaced the barrel on their dime but that service is no longer available and I protect my Model 19's these days shooting mid level or less 357 magnum loads in them. Note, I cracked the forcing cone on my Model 19 shooting 158 grain full power ammunition. The notion that only 125 grain full power ammunition cracks the Model 19 forcing cone is fake news at best.)

    The only Ruger Redhawk I have is chambered in 45 Colt.

    I do not feel that you will go wrong with any L-frame, GP100, Python, N-frame or Redhawk. You have to decide how heavy a pistol you want to deal with and then enjoy it.

    But, in general, these days, I prefer to shoot mid level 357 Magnum loads under 158 grain SWC cast bullets. If i want wrist snapping recoil, I drag out the 460XVR.

    (I have a light load in 460 cases for plinking with the "crew served" X frame revolver.):)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2022
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  20. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I still can perfectly picture the 27 Classic at the LGS, circa 2017 or so. It just sat there, with the price coming down $50 per week. I kept thinking I should just buy the thing and put it out of its misery, but of course I didn't.

    I can also picture the display case 30 or 40 years earlier, filled with pristine pinned and recessed Model 29s at $350 per.

    I may some day stop being a fool, but the evidence is against it.
     
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  21. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    That’s interesting that the forcing cone cracked with 158 grain bullets. That is all I shoot in mine to keep that from happening. I generally shoot 1100-1200 fps loads in mine but not very often. Mine sees more .38 Special than .357.

    Regarding weight of the heavier guns. The weight while shooting is fine for me. It’s the carrying that I think might be an issue, but the way I will carry will either be a chest rig or a shoulder rig. Once I get the gun I will decide on that.
     
  22. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    :rofl:

    I like to blame things on Murphy and his law. It leaves me an out to polish my foolishness in private. :D
     
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  23. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    The 7 shot S&W cylinder is stronger than the 6 shot because the locking notch cuts are between the cylinder holes instead of over them.
    The 4 inch 686 is right at 39.5- 40 ounces. I believe the 4 inch M27 is just over 40oz. I believe you would have a very hard time wearing ine out in 1 lifetime
     
  24. heyboy

    heyboy Member

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    I handled the 3-5-7 w/ 5" barrel and un-fluted Plus cylinder. It bugged me day and night for a while. I didn't have a six shooter at the time and I really wanted a service type revolver. I ended up getting the 19-9 classic and it's been great. I later got a 19-3 and a 686 w/ 6" barrel. My 686 is supposedly the archive collection variant. It has Patridge sights, a wide trigger, wide hammer and hogue deep finger groove grips. It dominated my range time for a while until I got behind schedule reloading, so I finally switched to 22 for a while. The 6" 686 is heavy to tinker with at home but I forget all about the weight when I get to the range. I'm 62 years old with challenged painful hands and joints but my 686 is pure joy. I would love to try a 4" too. Post edited for weight - 46 oz.

    IMG_0262.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2022
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  25. NeroM

    NeroM Member

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    suggestion.........consider a larger caliber ?
    in my experience, when i want more stopping ability than mid range 357 loads,
    need more than 357 is needed- however 41/44 mags might be too much to "handle".
    Consider 45 Colt in a S&W M25, Ruger Redhawk or a short cylinder BFR or FA M97?
    For hunting a handload of 255 gr SWC at 1000 fps is easy to develop or the Grizzly
    cartridge loading of 265 gr LBT at 950 fps are highly effective, easy on wrists, ears and guns ?
     
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